Sunday, March 16, 2014

to st vlad's on a cold, windy day

With the attention on Ukraine and the Crimea, Winter Larry decided to go to Cassville today to stop at the Ukrainian Russian Orthodox church near there. Word that the local convenience store had closed did not change his decision; there was another, smaller store nearby (that might not be so filled with tobacco smoke...). We've done this ride before, and, while there are some nifty roads on the way there, there are often headwinds on the way back... and with today's lower-than-I-expected temperatures, those winds could be uncomfortable. Larry promised us shielded roads on the way back.

Ten of us went on this route (sorry; I was lazy with the camera today; didn't get many of us). We did the first half of the route at high speed (for us), almost bordering on B+ territory. I was congratulating myself for the good shape I was in, even after 60+ hilly miles yesterday. Sean, who was the younger rider who overtook me a month ago, and I traded some leads on a couple of fast stretches (Winter Larry will let folks ride ahead on certain long stretches of road) (and forgive me if it's Shaun, or Shawn, or something else). We passed the supposedly-closed store in Cassville, and Larry thought he saw a delivery of rolls on the porch.

We stopped at another store, and heard from that proprietor that the wife of the fellow at the other tore had died; since then, sometimes he opens and sometimes he doesn't. At the new store, she had no bathrooms for us (she did let Laura OLPH sneak around back to use the facility), but she had hot coffee and a warm demeanor.

From there, we went up to St Vladimir's Ukrainian Russian Orthodox Church, a small but beautiful church with gold leaf and mosaics; I got pictures (below), including the last couple of shots (you'll see one) that made me race to catch up to the group. By now the wind was in our faces, and the going got slow and colder.  Slow, that is, until the coffee I'd had at the stop started announcing its intention to depart its current enclosure, which gave me impetus to keep the pace up the last few miles -- I didn't stop at the Knapp's parking with the others, but went straight (and with celerity) to the Village Park where the porta-potty is, and only said my goodbyes and thank-you's after I had attended to my more pressing business.

A few pics below. At the start, first, Sean, looking larcenous with his face covered:

At the stop:

St Vlad's:

(This below would be a better picture if I had the skills and inclination to edit out the power lines)


  1. The tailwind we had for nearly the whole trip to Cassville didn't hurt our speed either. Tired as I was, I was holding my "century pace," one that gets me a B+, on the flatter stretches.

    The church, by the way, makes no mention of being Ukranian on its website ( And I highly doubt that Putin is going to change his mind now that ten bikers gawked at a Russian Orthodox church out in the boonies of central New Jersey. Maybe if we'd taken off our shirts...

  2. 1) I'll correct the Ukrainian reference.
    2) The visit wasn't about Putin.